Spanning over a significant stretch of Midtown Manhattan, the Plaza District embodies the image of New York that has captivated the rest of the world. It is home to Fifth Avenue’s finest window displays, the most esteemed white tablecloth dining destinations, some of the most renowned art and design institutions, and the city’s pantheon of the fine arts (and architecture), Lincoln Center. Next year, it will also be home to a shiny new skyscraper, slated to change the city skyline with its daring height and polished minimalism. One57 is a graceful summation of the work of French architect, urbanist and Pritzer Prize winner Christian de Portzamparc. Climbing 1,000 feet above Midtown Manhattan, the mixed hotel and residential tower, in the words of the architect, “does more than stand out; it naturally belongs. It is not an absolute or final statement; it is an ongoing dialogue. This is what gives landmarks their relevance and meaning.”
From afar, the exterior of One57 is marked by its abstract form. Seen from across Central Park, the tower bears its immense mass with incredible poise, using a staggered asymmetry that echoes the zigzagging setbacks of Manhattan’s buildings though markedly elongated to appear light and slender. It blends effortlessly into the forest of high-rises while discreetly asserting its individual presence.
From the street level, One57 will dazzle with its detail. While the staggered forms of the structure make its astonishing height possible to grasp from below, thin ribbons of glass appear to cascade downward on the building’s facade, giving the illusion of movement and fluidity. These contemporary touches emphasize the streamlined elegance of the design’s International Style forerunners. As sculptural as the exterior may appear, the experience of the interior is marked by incredible openness: large, airy spaces are surrounded by floor-to-ceiling pixelated glass windows overlooking Central Park. From within, One57 truly captures the mythology of life in New York.